This article discusses the warning signs that are emerging from the shrinking glacier atop B.C.’s volcano Mount Meager.
Glyn Williams-Jones was lying on his belly on wet rocks and ice, uncertain whether the ground beneath him might give way or the thick ice shelf overhead would break off and fall onto him.
He was peering into the abyss of an ice cave and could not have been happier.
“This is spectacular,” he said with a broad smile on his face. “It’s not often you get to see underneath the bottom of a glacier.”
The glacier sits on top of the last volcano to explode on Canadian soil: Mount Meager, northwest of Whistler, B.C. But the fact that it erupted just over 2,400 years ago does not mean it’s past its potential to blow again. That’s just the blink of an eye in geological terms.
The combination of the volcano and its shrinking glacier has drawn Williams-Jones. He is a volcanologist from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., and brought a team to, as he said, “read the signals, the body language” of the mountain in hopes of knowing when the next eruption will happen.